|The Giants dealt a couple of spare parts to the Pirates to acquire lefty Javier Lopez, a situational reliever who has held lefthanded batters to a career line of .243/.337/.351 over 608 plate appearances. This season, he had been a tad better at .204/.323/.352 over 65 PA. The Pirates acquired a pair of 27-year-olds in righthander Joe Martinez and corner outfielder John Bowker, both of whom have spent time in the big leagues and in Triple-A this season.|
|Joe Martinez, rhp
Born: Feb. 26, 1983 in South Orange, N.J.
Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 195. Bats: L. Throws: R.
School: Boston College.
Career Transactions: Selected by Giants in 12th round of 2005 draft; signed June 13, 2005.
Martinez has never been considered one of the Giants’ top prospects. He doesn’t fit the Giants mold, as the organization has excelled more with refining power arms such as Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez rather than nurturing pitchability guys like Martinez. However, he reached the majors last April and opened the season in San Francisco’s rotation. In his second big league outing, he was hit in the head by a line drive off the bat of Mike Cameron, and he wound up with a concussion and three hairline skull fractures. However, he returned to the majors three months later and even got back into the rotation.
Martinez has pitched well at Triple-A Fresno, though, and has a chance to be a fifth starter in Pittsburgh. He’s a four-pitch righty with an average fastball that sits 86-91 mph and touches 92, to go with a solid-average changeup in the upper 70s. His slider and changeup are both fringe or below-average offerings. He doesn’t endear himself to scouts by working with a slow tempo and rarely challenging hitters.
|John Bowker, lf/rf
Age: 27. Position: LF (55 G), RF (11 G), 1B (1 G).
Born: July 8, 1983 in Sacramento.
Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 200. Bats: L. Throws: L.
School: Long Beach State.
Career Transactions: Selected by Giants in third round of 2004 draft; signed July 19, 2004.
Bowker has been up-and-down between San Francisco and Triple-A Fresno the last three seasons. He got his most big league time in 2008, when he had 350 plate appearances and blasted 10 home runs for San Francisco. Since Bruce Bochy took over as the Giants’ manager, though, he’s gotten just 163 plate appearances in 72 games, with five home runs. He’s strictly a platoon player—he’s just 5-for-46 (.109) in the majors against lefthanded pitchers. All his value is in his bat. Scouts consider him to have above-average power, and not just to the pull side. He’s not afraid to use the whole field, but he’s also not particularly patient and tends to be too aggressively. His speed and defense in the outfield corners and at first base all rate below-average.
|Javier Lopez, lhp
Age: 33. Remaining Commitment: Approximately $258,000 (signed 1-year, $775,000 deal with Pirates in December).
Contract details courtesy of Cot’s Baseball Contracts.